Control Group Has Shot of Upset in Evan Shipman

Evan Shipman

Nine state breds battle in Wednesday’s $100,000 Evan Shipman at Saratoga. (photo credit: © Cheryl Quigley |

The feature on Wednesday at Saratoga is the $100,000 Even Shipman which drew a field of nine New York breds, with Control Group looking to have the best shot of beating the imposing chalk Mr. Buff.

Mr. Buff, the 6-5 morning line favorite is coming off a gate to wire score in the state bred Saginaw at Belmont Park on June 30 going 1 1/16 miles, his ninth win in 29 career starts. The John Kimmel trainee will carry 124 pounds breaking from the two post with Junior Alvarado in the irons.

The Rudy Rodriguez trained Control Group may have the best shot of pulling off the upset. Coming off a win at Finger Lakes he may end up getting overlooked in the betting. He is 8-1 on the morning line with Luis Saez aboard.

Kimmel is expecting the favorite to have some company up front as there is plenty of speed signed up.

“He’s doing really well and breezed great last week,” Kimmel said. “If someone is intent on going to the [front] and it’s going to compromise our chances, we’ll make an adjustment. But he’s been very comfortable when he’s on the lead. He’s a big horse. He’s 17.2 [hands]. He’s got a huge stride and has a nice cruising speed. And I think a mile and an eighth is his best distance.”

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Wednesday’s card also features the $100,000 Mahony which drew a field of 10 three-year-olds (nine and one main track only entrant) that will go 5 ½ furlongs on turf. The Jorge Navarro trained Archidust is the 2-1 morning line favorite.

Let’s head out to the Saratoga for Wednesday’s featured race of the day:

Saratoga Race 9 The Evan Shipman (Post time 5:06 ET)

#9 Control Group   8-1

#2 Mr. Buff   6-5

#4 Dynamax Prime   5-1

#7 Gio d’Oro   8-1


Control Group

This five-year-old prompted the early pace and drew clear in the stretch to beat allowance foes at Finger Lakes last out over a wet track. This guy was beaten by Mr. Buff three back in the state bred Alex Robb in the mud at the Aqueduct. The RRod trainee looks primed for a top effort third off the bench here and he should get a good tracking trip behind what appears likely to be a sharp early pace. The five-year-old ran third in this race last year. He won his first two starts over the Spa main track, both wins coming in ’17. Saez picks up the call and this son of Posse rarely runs a bad one, winning 10 of 25 starts and has landed in the money 19 times. Looks as if he has the best shot of beating the chalk in here. He is 5 for 11 at nine furlongs.

Mr. Buff

The John Kimmel trainee took the field gate to wire to win the state bred Saginaw last out by 6 1/4 lengths. It was a near career top, that fig coming four back when he won the Jazil at Aqueduct at nine furlongs back in January. He does his best work when able to control the pace and there are a couple of runners in her that can give him a test early. He beat state bred Alw-2 foes here last summer by nine lengths in a gate to wire score. The Kimmel trainee is imposing but is going to be a light price again in this spot.

Dynamax Prime

The gelding stalked the early pace and finished up well while no match to the chalk in here in a runner up finish in the Saginaw, beaten 6 1/4 lengths for the top spot. He was claimed for just $12,500 by the Gonzales barn and when he landed with Rob Atras, he beat state bred Alw-1 and Alw-2 foes in his first two starts. The gelding is going to get a good pace set up. He has won at 1 1/4 miles and has a runner up finish at today’s distance.


WIN: #9 to win 5-1 or better.

EX: 2,9 / 2,4,7,9

TRI: 2,9 / 2,4,7,9 / 2,3,4,7,9


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